SUNDAY RILEY A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum


4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars66%
  • 4 Stars23%
  • 3 Stars8%
  • 2 Stars2%
  • 1 Star1%


What it is: An advanced-strength retinoid serum that delivers a 6.5 percent solution of stabilized retinoid blends and botanical retinol-alternative extracts into the skin.

Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination, and Oily 

Skincare Concerns: Fine lines and wrinkles, Dark spots, and Dullness and uneven texture.

Formulation: Serum

Highlighted Ingredients:
- Retinol Ester: Helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and the lines and encourages the signs of clearer skin without the drawbacks of retinol.
- CoQ10: May improve the appearance of aging or UV-exposed skin, for a healthier-looking, balanced complexion.
- Hawaiian White Honey: Pro-skin humectant, rich in phytonutirients.

Ingredient Callouts: Free of sulfates SLS and SLES and parabens. This product is also cruelty-free, and gluten-free. 

What Else You Need to Know: A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum combines a 5 percent retinoid ester blend, 1 percent liposomal-encapsulated retinol blend, and 0.5 percent blue green algae with natural retinoid-alternative activity. This serum fights the signs of aging and improves the look of congested and UV-damaged skin. Encapsulated CoQ10 helps to improve the appearance of aging or damaged skin, while Hawaiian white honey, bisabolol, cactus extract, and ginger balance and soothe the skin for the appearance of a calmer more even-toned complexion. 

New to Retinoids? Start using A+ two nights a week, and then take two nights off. Gradually work your way up to every other night, and then every night.

How to Use

Suggested Usage:
-Apply two or three pumps in the evening to clean, dry skin.

For new retinoid users: 
-Use two days on, two days off. 
-Work your way up to every other day, then to daily, evening use. 
-Follow with a hydrating oil or moisturizer, like Juno (sold separately). 
-Use an AHA serum, like Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment (sold separately), on alternate nights to sweep away dead skin cells.

For sensitive skin: 
-Apply a hydrating oil, like Juno Antioxidant Superfood Face Oil (sold separately), or moisturizer before applying A+ Serum.


Retinol Ester: Helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and the lines and encourages the signs of clearer skin without the drawbacks of retinol.
-CoQ10: May improve the appearance of aging or UV-exposed skin, for a healthier-looking, balanced complexion.
-Hawaiian White Honey: Pro-skin humectant, rich in phytonutirients.

Water, Propanediol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Triheptanoin, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Hexyldecanol, Disiloxane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Diheptyl Succinate, Propylene Carbonate, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, PPG-24-Glycereth-24, Phenyl Trimethicone, Retinol, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Honey Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Algae Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Extract, Opuntia Ficus-indica Fruit Extract, Bisabolol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Phospholipids, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Lecithin, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, 1,2-Hexanediol, 4-t- Butylcyclohexanol, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol, Helianthus Annuss (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Sorbitol, Cetylhydroxyproline Palmitamide, Polysilicone-11, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Sodium Phytate, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Polysorbate, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Stearic Acid, Brassica Campestris Sterols, PVP, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Sodium Benzoate, Alcohol, Potassium Phosphate, Decyl Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopherol.

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Top Questions See all 28 Q&A

SUNDAY RILEY A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum
SUNDAY RILEY A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum
Reviews (163)
Q&A (13)
Media (26)

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Leelu D.
93 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 3
Purchased at: Sephora
I’m a tad bit obsessed with Sunday Riley products because they consistently deliver and well worth the money. A+ is an advanced strength retinoids serum. So if you’re wondering...What are retinoids? Retinoids reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen, and also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which helps to improve skin color.

Patience please... it can take up to 12 weeks or three months to see a marked difference in your skin's texture. “Clinical studies have seen an 87% decrease in acne lesions after 12 weeks of using a retinoid”.

A+ also includes key ingredients such as:
♥️ Retinol Ester
♥️ CoQ10 (an antioxidant, which protects cells from damage)
♥️ Hawaiian White Honey

Investing in quality skincare products that actually deliver is worth it to me...#treatyourself #SundayRiley #SundayRileyA+
Taylor H.
Perrysburg, OH
200 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 4
This is 3 weeks after adding this product (along with the Sunday Riley vitamin C oil) to my skincare regimen. I have dry skin with hyperpigmentation and redness (likely rosacea as my mother has been diagnosed) with severe sun damage as I didn’t not start using sunscreen regularly until the age of 26. The first time I used this produce, I woke up with dry scaly undereyes. As with any retinol product, I quickly realized hydration was key and took steps to moisturize along with the use of this product. I applied every other day at night, and layered an oil and moisturizer on top. I am amazed with the results this far and am excited to continue this skincare journey without the need for laser or microdermabrasion therapy, for now. I highly endorse this product!!
Jessica C.
58 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
I started using this two weeks ago and I already know this is a product that I'll continue purchasing. The last time I tried a retinol serum, I quit after a week because the peeling and sensitivity were awful and I wasn't prepared. This time around I've got an arsenal of moisturizers and sunscreen and separate AM and PM routines to keep interactions to a minimum. This serum is a dream. I have texture from eczema and allergic reactions that is rapidly disappearing, a childhood scar that is looking less deep and obvious, and the beginnings of laugh lines that look a little plumper and filled in. I have experienced some peeling and some breakouts have been rushed to the surface, but with copious moisturizer and time, it's clearing up. Even with the handful of closed comedones hanging out on my cheeks, my skin is glowing. I'm looking forward to seeing how good my skin looks a month from now! My skin is used to a certain amount of exfoliation, so I didn't start out as slowly as I should have. I've used it every night since I've gotten it, starting with half a pump, working up to a full pump. I apply it after cleansing and toning, before moisturizing.
Brandy R.
Fort Worth, TX
165 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
Not impressed. I was so excited to see the Sunday Riley products in the January Allure box. So excited that I got online and ordered it for myself. After what seemed like an eternity, I finally received my box and my two new Sunday Riley products. I had been looking for a new skincare regimen and I figured for the cost of this, it HAS to work. A 1oz bottle of this costs $85!!! I used it as directed along with my CEO glow for 2.5wks with absolutely no difference. I don’t see what the hype is all about. And I really did want this to work. I know that time frame isn’t long enough to see the full results but I should’ve seen SOMETHING and I just didn’t. I’m sorry but I will NOT be buying this and I don’t recommend it either.
Grisselda V.
33 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
I received A+ with a sample of Juno oil and Good genes included in the box. I tried all three as recommended for two nights. I woke up with insanely dry skin and several breakouts. I let my skin heal for a week and when it was back to normal, I decided to try just the A+ with my normal moisturizer underneath because I thought that maybe the rancid oil smell of the Juno may have been the breakout culprit. This time it only took one night to destroy my skin. I was broken out again and my skin was so dry, that I had almost scab like areas on my face. I have used many retinols and have NEVER had a reaction like this. I can not recommend this product and I will be returning it. I also have to mention that I wrote 4 reviews for products last week. Two were five stars, one was four stars, and the review for this product was one star. Sephora published my other three reviews, but not this one. I have been a Sephora Rouge customer for years and this practice makes me very skeptical of product ratings.
Mary F.
Middle River, MD
118 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
Received this as a deluxe sample size in a beauty box. I have been using it for about a month now. While my skin does look brighter, there isn’t much a difference besides that. I really enjoy using it and maybe it just needs some more time. It doesn’t really have a scent and soaks into the skin nicely. I use once every couple nights as well to get my skin use to retinol (if you are not use to retinol or have very sensitive skin, I recommend doing the same). I plan to use it more and more as time passes, and I hope I do start seeing major differences. I put this on before bed. No burning or dry skin. I do have acne prone, sensitive skin and this hasn’t irritated it at all. I gave it 4 stars because It just hasn’t wowed me yet.
Rebecca m.
596 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 3

I don't treat myself to good skincare like this and I told my Husband I NEED to!

I got this product from my Allure bag, it's a very small product which I'm not too excited about. Does anyone know how big the Full-Sized product is?

My skin feels amazing! I suffer from dark circles and dark eye sockets. Lately I've also been breaking out. But this Serum really has helped my skin! My skin is glowing, more even, my eye sockets/circles have lightened and my skin feels GREAT!
My skin is very sensitive to new products, I'm very acne prone and I did not break out with this.
I am so impressed with this brand and I want to continue using these products.
Meg B.
67 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
This is a game changer! I actually use prescription Tretinoin on my face. But I use this on my chest, shoulders, arms and hands! Silky smooth skin is the result. It is very hydrating on its own, but I always apply a moisturizer on top of this. Give it about 2 weeks to work too and you’ll notice how smooth your skin is. Another tip: I love to mix it together with Peter Thomas Roth Professional 3% Retinol Plus and apply it that way. I get tremendous results when I combine these two powerful retinols together!
Dawn S.
Jersey City, NJ
71 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 2
I really like this product because even though it is high dose retinoid it is non irritating even on my sensitive skin. It gently removes those pesky dead skin layers that normal day to day exfoliating may miss. It reveals glowing more radiant skin after just a few uses and evens skin tone/texture. SUNDAY RILEY A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum In definitely loving the difference it's making on my 37 yr old skin. #sundayriley #retinoid #facecare #loveyourface
Sara P.
Tucson, AZ
83 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 2
Purchased at: Sephora
I did not expect to have such immediate results when I used this! I love retin formulas, I have redness and old acne scars so it’s what it most helpful for me. After I used this for about a week, I remember seeing myself in my car mirror and being shocked at what an improvement had already taken place! Smooth, even skin and fading of old spots! It’s a milky yellow toned serum, no noticeable scent, and sinks in easily without any greasy or heavy feeling. I will definitely be repurchasing!
Shannon C.
Anaheim, CA
12 reviews
How are people liking this product? Is it worth it?
Michelle B.
30 reviews
I have never used a retinol product before. Should I try something with a lower percentage before using this product?
Raychel H.
13 reviews
Where in your regimen would this go? I use the CEO glow oil and sometimes good genes, but I’m not sure where A+ goes?

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